An OTD Shailah for the Rabbi

I’m lucky to have friends who try to be supportive of my “new lifestyle.”

But their attempts to be inclusive of me are often ludicrous. Like the time a friend tried to offer me a place for Shavuos.

If I were single and living at home, I wouldn’t need a place – I’d be with my parents. If I were married, I’d be with my husband and kids. If I were still frum but living on my own, I’d be invited to various homes in the community.

Since I wasn’t celebrating or observing Shavuos (though I did buy huge quantities of cheesecake), I didn’t try to find a place to be. I was planning on doing schoolwork.

When my friend heard this, she invited me to come to her for Shavuos. I hadn’t seen her in a while, so I wanted to take advantage of this invitation.

Part of her offer was that in her shul, they lein the aseres ha’dibros really beautifully. I didn’t tell her that that tidbit of info made me slightly less inclined to want to come.

But I did say that if I came, it could only be for one meal – I couldn’t carve out two full days from my schedule. And since she was not within walking distance from my apartment, we knew what that meant.

She said she’d have to ask a shailah and get back to me.

Now, while I had no interest in being at a Shavuos seudah, I did want to spend time with my friend. So while I waited for her response, I did some research of my own.

Turns out, most rabbonim agree that if you invite someone who is too far to walk home, but you offer them a place to sleep, you’re covered if they choose to drive (or in my case, take the train) home.

I even went so far as to call the shailah hotline and speak to a rav. (I posed as the one who had invited a non-frum friend… I had this niggling feeling the approach might be different if I revealed the true situation.)

So it was all fine and dandy. I called my friend, told her the answer I got was that she’s covered. After all, she was the one who needed to be not sinning or causing others to sin. Me? I didn’t consider it a sin, so I was fine.

She wasn’t comfortable with it, even if a rav said it was okay. So I didn’t go.

I felt bad that I didn’t get to spend time with her, but honestly I was a little relieved that I wouldn’t have to pretend to be awed by the beauty of the leining.


2 thoughts on “An OTD Shailah for the Rabbi”

  1. So thoughtful of you to ask a sheila and do all that legwork for her. Pity she couldn’t return the favor by not being frummer than the rabbis.

    A friend pointed out that we frown on people who don’t accept their rabbi’s chumros, and ‘shop’ for a kula. But for some reason it’s okay to not accept your rabbi’s ‘kulos’ and it’s okay to shop around for chumros.


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